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Stakes are high for defendants in meth lab cases

The production of methamphetamine is increasingly seen by prosecutors, judges and the general community as a public health issue, and judges are under significant pressure to "send a message" when sentencing people to jail for manufacturing or trafficking meth.

Because the household chemicals used in many meth labs can be extremely volatile, fires and explosions sometimes result, and defendants find themselves accused of property-related offences in addition to drug offences. From a criminal defence perspective, these cases require a comprehensive approach, as the penalties upon conviction could include years in jail, as well as heavy fines.

Jail sentences continue to be handed down in connection with one of Peel Region's largest meth lab discoveries back in 2008. Police claim to have confiscated 4,000 kilograms of meth and about 400,000 ecstasy tablets. One man, of Brampton, was recently sentenced to five years in jail, and a few months ago, two other men were sentenced to five years and seven years, respectively.

All three individuals were charged with possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.

Often when a person is accused of manufacturing or trafficking an illegal drug, law enforcement officers will confiscate money that is believed to be proceeds of a drug crime. Homes and vehicles may also be subject to civil forfeiture.

If you have been accused of manufacturing meth or operating a marijuana grow house, then you will need a custom defence strategy to protect your rights and future. As you may know, the stakes are high, and you should have skilled legal counsel on your side to assess the evidence against you and prepare your case.